Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences

Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences

Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada), or RCCSS(C) evolved out of a need to coordinate and direct the involvement of the chiropractic profession with athletic and sport-minded communities. On June 22, 2010, H.R.H., Queen Elizabeth II granted the college permission to use the title Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada) after it "met stringent criteria, including its devotion to scientific causes and the field of sports health care in Canada."[1]



Contemporary sports chiropractic in Canada developed from two previous organizations. The first was called the Canadian Academy of Chiropractic Sports Therapists (CACST). A debate emerged as a result of the profession’s concern with the word “therapist” and, as a result, the CACST was renamed the Canadian Chiropractic Sports Academy (CCSA) in 1978.[2]

The CCSA gradually became less active over the next several years and after a period of dormancy, sports chiropractic was re-organized in Canada with yet another name change to reflect its rebirth and modernization. The College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada), or CCSS(C), received its charter from the Canadian Chiropractic Association in October 1984. The CCSS(C) was granted its patent letters on February 12, 1990, by the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, for the Government of Canada, and moved forward, growing annually to become the largest post graduate organization for Chiropractic Sports Sciences in the world.[3]

Along with its academic and research responsibilities, the CCSS(C) has become the key provider for political and inter-professional relationships for the Canadian Chiropractic Association with the various sport communities both in Canada and internationally. As a result, for the first time ever, chiropractic was included as part of the host medical services for the Winter Olympic Games in 2010. Dr. Jack Taunton, VANOC Chief Medical Officer, was able to establish a truly inter-professional collaborative model of health care delivery with chiropractors and other health care professionals working side by side to the best benefit of those they serve.[4]


The CCSS(C) developed the Field Practitioner Program (FPP). The FPP was designed for the established and experienced practitioner to complete the necessary requirements to achieve specialty status (i.e., Fellowship) with the CCSS(C). By completing an academic program on a part time basis over a period of three years and successful completion of research, practical, four competency examinations and other program requirements, the practicing chiropractor, while maintaining an active practice, could earn their Specialty designation. As such, they would receive the prestigious “Fellow of the College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences” and be recognized by the designation FCCSS(C). This is one of only five chiropractic specialties in Canada recognized by the Canadian Federation of Chiropractic Regulatory Boards (CFCRB).

The first FPP began in Montreal in October 1984, with the first “graduates” of the FFP completing the Fellowship examinations in January, 1988. The program proved tremendously popular and a second program began in Toronto in September 1985. Over the next few years attempts were made to start the program in Calgary but unfortunately failed to achieve the minimum enrollment necessary to sustain the program. In 1993 a program was initiated in Vancouver and in 1997 the final Field Practitioner Program was offered in Winnipeg. The remaining Doctors of Chiropractic involved in the Field Practitioner Program completed their courses in 2000. The FPP was subsequently discontinued.

Prior to the Field Practitioner Program beginning in Western Canada, the Canadian Council of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (CCCSS) was established in June 1986. The purpose of the CCCSS was to provide an organization and leadership for chiropractors unable to be involved in the Field Practitioner Program in Toronto or Montreal. On September 17, 1988 a bylaw change within the CCSS(C) was accepted creating the new membership category “Affiliate members”. As such, the CCCSS was absorbed into the CCSS(C), creating a unified sports chiropractic organization in Canada.

Having reached many of its early goals, the next natural evolution for the CCSS(C) was to begin a residency program within the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. The concept of a Residency Program was born at a CCSS(C) retreat in Cambridge, Ontario in 1990 and in 1995 the Sports Residency program was established. Unlike the three year/part-time Field Practitioner Program, the Residency Program was designed to be a full-time, 2-year program of study. This program, which is now one of three residency programs offered at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, continues today with multiple applicants vying for 2-3 positions annually within the Sports Residency Program. The program involves the cooperation of many Universities across Canada, as well as practical and hands-on training at a number of sports injuries centres and professional team placements. As such, it has become the envy of many similar programs in the world.

Following the termination of the FPP, the new Sports Fellowship Program (SFP) began in January 2000. The Sports Fellowship Program, similar to the FPP, permits Doctors of Chiropractic in private practice, the opportunity to attain their Fellowship without sacrificing their practices. Centered on a specific program mandate and detailed objectives, the Sports Fellowship Program was created to offer chiropractic sports specialty training through post-secondary educational institutions throughout Canada. Each program, under the direction of an approved regional mentor, is uniquely designed to afford participants the most effective way to meet the program goals. With a minimum of 1000 hours of field work, academic focus on exercise physiology, sports nutrition, sports psychology, advanced imaging, research methodology, acute injury management and other aspects of sports chiropractic, the SFP provides the most extensive specialty training of any health care profession. The new breed of Chiropractic Sports Fellow will be prepared better than ever before to represent sports chiropractic throughout Canada and the world.

At present there are three programs running: Calgary, Alberta; Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Ontario; and the University of Toronto.

The original objective of the CCSS(C) of providing the profession with the latest information in the diagnosis and management of acute sport trauma has expanded as a result of the growing demands placed on its members by the profession, sport organizations and the athletic community worldwide. The CCSS(C) now promotes the standardization of treatment protocols, diagnostic and therapeutic terminology, as well as the rehabilitation and prevention of injury. Graduates of the CCSS(C) are active in keeping abreast of the latest concepts in injury prevention, general health and wellness issues and performance enhancement through biomechanical integrity and the physics of human motion. To support this increased demand for expertise, the CCSS(C) has also developed, primarily through the residency program at CMCC, a group of chiropractors focusing on the field of sports research.

Through the efforts of the CCSS(C), chiropractors are represented on Canadian Core Health Care Teams that accompany Mission Staff and athletes to minor/developmental and major games. Minor or developmental games include the World University Games (Summer and Winter), World Francophone Games, Commonwealth Games and Canada Summer and Winter Games. Major games are the Pan American Games and the Olympics (Summer and Winter). Currently, the Health Care Team for these games holds one or more positions for chiropractors, specifically those holding the Fellowship designation (FCCSS(C)). Further, sports chiropractors are firmly entrenched in the multidisciplinary care of athletes, maintaining funding support for the treatment of national level athletes with several Canadian Sport Centres throughout the country. As sports specialists with a unique view of the body and its mechanics, we are now being requested to participate in health care teams for a variety of national and international athletic events.

Standards and Ethics

The CCSS(C) maintains and encourages the highest standards and ethics of practice within the chiropractic profession with a detailed ‘Code of Conduct’ and ‘Guidelines for Chiropractors at Athletic Events’ adopted by all CCSS(C) members.

The College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada) has become a leading organization in the chiropractic profession and in the sports health care field through the dedication of many chiropractors who have given of their time and expertise over the past two decades.

On June 22, 2010 Queen Elizabeth granted the college permission to use the title Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada) after it "met stringent criteria, including its devotion to scientific causes and the field of sports health care in Canada."[5]

External links


  1. ^ "RCSS(C) Canada’s Sports Chiropractors Earn The Queen’s Royal Approval". 
  2. ^ "RCSS(C)History". 
  3. ^ "RCSS(C)History". 
  4. ^ "Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association: 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Chiropractic: The Making of History". 
  5. ^ "RCSS(C) Canada’s Sports Chiropractors Earn The Queen’s Royal Approval". 

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